Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, the Republican Budget Officer in the Assembly and a representative of northern Monmouth County in the lower house of the legislature has taken some criticism here in the MMM comments and on facebook for not voting on the Transportation Trust Fund bill that was sprung on the Assembly by Speaker Vincent Prieto and Governor Chris Christie in the middle of the night on June 30. The bill, which would have increased the gas tax by $.23 per gallon and lowered the state sales tax from 7% to 6% passed in the Assembly and was never voted on by the Senate.
Now almost six weeks later with the TTF still not renewed and road projects stalled throughout the state, O’Scanlon said that he believes “even more strongly that my decision was exactly the right one.”
O’Scanlon issued the following statement to MMM to explain his decision not to vote on the Assembly TTF bill:
Senior citizen accosted by Democratic legislators’ staffers
Downey, Sweeny and Houghtaling. photo via facebook from a previous meeting
Senate President Steve Sweeney held a meeting with public officials and education stakeholders at the Freehold legislative office of Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey this morning to discuss the school funding bill the three legislators are sponsoring.
Houghtaling told MMM about the meeting this morning during a phone call regarding former Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini’s call for him and Downey to join Sweeney in demanding that the U.S. Attorney and NJ Attorney General investigate the NJEA’s alleged extortion of Sweeney. Houghtaling repeatedly said that the Freehold meeting is “non-poltical.”
So why was Senator Jennifer Beck, a Republican excluded? Members of the Freehold Borough Council were invited. The state senator representing Freehold was not invited? That sounds like a political meeting with only Democrats invited. Beck’s spokesman Mike Hughes told MMM that the senator was not invited to the meeting in Freehold.
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, the Republican Assembly Budget Officer, said today that no New Jersey legislator can responsibly vote on a bill to replenish the state’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) if a constitutional amendment requiring the state to make specified annual payments to state employees pensions funds is on the ballot this November.
“No legislator from either party can cast a responsible vote on any TTF plan until we know if the disastrously flawed Democrat constitutional amendment will be on the ballot. If the Senate Democrats irresponsibly vote to place the amendment on the ballot they are voting to put any TTF decision off until after November – at least.
O’Scanlon said that the constitutional amendment proposed by the Democratic majority has three fatal flaws:
Brian T. Murray, Governor Chris Christie’s spokesman, told MMM in an email that Christie has not seen the Transportation Trust Fund legislation that Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced today.
New Jersey’s infrastructure construction projects have been shut down since July 8 when the TFF was down to a $10 million balance which being held for emergency projects.
Arnone in talks to keep Monmouth County projects going uninterupted
Governor Chris Christie issued an Executive Order last night shutting down all projects funded by the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. The fund’s authorization expired at midnight though published reports indicated that there is enough money in the fund to continue work through mid-August.
Christie’s dramatics came as a result of the Legislature failing to reauthorize the fund. The Senate was considering a bi-partisan plan to reauthorize the fund with a $.23 per gallon gas tax increase while also phasing out the estate tax and income tax on retirement income. The Assembly passed legislation negotiated by Christie and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto in the wee hours of Tuesday morning that would increase the gas tax $.23 and phase in a reduction in the state sales tax from 7% to 6%. Christie said the last minute sales tax reduction was his idea.
The Christie/Prieto plan was widely panned from both the left an right and had little support in the Senate.
No plan under consideration addressed New Jersey’s highest in the nation cost of road construction: an estimated $2 million per mile on average.
TRENTON — The state Assembly hastily approved a plan after midnight Tuesday to cut the sales tax by a penny in exchange for raising the gas tax by 23 cents a gallon to rescue the near-broke… Read the rest of this entry »
Governor Chris Christie is back on the Town Hall circuit…now he is calling them forums…as he meets New Jersey voters on Tuesday in Wall Township to promote the school funding formula that he announced last week.
The “Fairness Formula Forum” will take place in the Wall branch of the Monmouth County Library, 2700 Allaire Rd., Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. The doors open at 2:15 p.m and seating his first come first served. RSVPs are encouraged for planning purposes to FairnessForum.Wall@NJ.Gov.
Christie is saying that he wants a referendum in 2017 to amend the State Constitution so that State education funding is distributed equally to all school age children throughout the New Jersey. He says that the State would contribute $6,500 per student. Currently roughly 75% of State funding goes to 31 school districts, formerly referred to Abbott districts for the landmark Abbott vs Burke NJ Supreme Court decision that mandated that the State subsidize poor and urban districts.
“Women’s Healthcare Options Open, Available and Accessible”
Photo Credit: Dave Lewis, LewisArtandPhoto.com
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) called out his colleague, Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D- Newark) for continuing to perpetrate the myth that New Jersey short changes funding for women’s healthcare.
“I count at least seven line items where we put money to women’s healthcare, including $135 million for family health services to provide prenatal and perinatal care for expectant mothers and their children,” said O’Scanlon. “The results of the Republican investment in women’s healthcare speak for themselves. New Jersey is in the top five States with the lowest STD rates in the country. Other states look to New Jersey as a model for STD prevention.” O’Scanlon also pointed out that the Democrats have failed to provide any additional funding for Family Planning Services in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget they passed last June.”
TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie’s new nominee to the state Supreme Court isn’t just someone he described as a friend, but the product of a politically well-connected law firm that’s reaped millions of taxpayer dollars under the governor’s administration. Walter “Wally” Timpone’s nomination is expected to gain swift approval from Senate Democrats, clearing the way to… Read the rest of this entry »
Assemblyman Dave Rible visiting fourth grade students at Spring Lake Hts Elementary School
Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, the Democrat leaders of the New Jersey Legislature, called for a tax on water for fund the repair and replacement of the state’s aging and lead contaminated water infrastructure.
Assemblyman Dave Rible, the Republican Conference Leader in the lower house, said raising taxes is not the answer. Rible is introducing a bill that would allow municipalities to contribute the monies now earmarked for affordable housing construction to instead by dedicated to a fund to be used to remediate lead contaminated properties.
“While we need to address the serious issue of lead contamination in our communities, raising taxes is not the answer,” said Rible. “This bill would provide vital funding for rehabilitating lead-contaminated properties without forcing taxpayers to dig deeper to pay for these projects.”